by David Skentelbery
IT is the first Roman Catholic church to be built in Warrington for, probably, 50 years. It is a striking building off Knutsford Road, it is open and attracting large, enthusiastic congregations – but as yet it has no name.
Parish Priest Father Peter Montgomery refers to it as “The new Catholic Church in Latchford” and that is likely to be what it is called until September.
Then it will become the Blessed John Henry Newman Church when the Pope beatifies Cardinal John Henry Newman, who gives his name to the nearby Cardinal Newman High School.
In fact, the “new Catholic Church in Latchford” replaces two historic Catholic churches – Our Lady of the Assumption and St Augustine’s which themselves merged some years ago.
It is a bright, modern church combined with a community centre but retaining much of the character of a traditional church. It has close links to Our Lady’s and St Augustine’s primary schools and the high school.
The future of the now closed Our Lady’s church in St Mary’s Street is not clear.
It is a Grade 2 Listed building which means it is likely to be retained and a new use found for it.
Pictured: the striking new church and organist Michael Wright at its super new organ.